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I am writing a research paper in which my thesis concerns how a character matures through his merging of characteristic traits in his relationships with other characters. How can I introduce this topic with an analogy "attention-getter" that demonstrates this idea of merging things together to form something new?

In another words, I'm looking for an analogy that compares how an individual who combines attributes that he acquires from his relationships can actually create a new, and better, identity for himself.

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closed as unclear what you're asking by Bradd Szonye, MετάEd, medica, tchrist, Mitch Feb 10 '14 at 18:44

Please clarify your specific problem or add additional details to highlight exactly what you need. As it's currently written, it’s hard to tell exactly what you're asking. See the How to Ask page for help clarifying this question.If this question can be reworded to fit the rules in the help center, please edit the question.

I'm not sure what you're asking for - an individual to takes the best from everything (what does that mean?), or an analogy that demonstrates the idea of merging things together to form something new? Can you give us some examples that may help make your request clearer? – Kristina Lopez Feb 5 '14 at 22:30
This sounds like you're looking for a technical term. Either one that exists already or a new one for a concept that you're creating for your thesis. 'chameleon' fits your description but has a negative connotation. – Mitch Feb 5 '14 at 22:36
it is impossible to observe the quantum without influencing it. – Sam Feb 6 '14 at 4:15
Chameleon has a negative connotation? I would have thought it perfect for this. Well except that I'm not actually sure what the OP is looking for. – Bradd Szonye Feb 6 '14 at 6:54
up vote 2 down vote accepted

You could use the concept of a Chimera as the basis for your analogy. The idea being that it is a composite creature that combines the best traits of the creatures that make it up.

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Thank you! That is a wonderful suggestion and it does have a neutral connotation that I can use to my advantage. – sameetandpotatoes Feb 5 '14 at 22:40
As far as I'm aware, there isn't a negative connotation to the term. So, something like, "He was like an emotional chimera, incorporating the best qualities from those around him to improve himself." – Roger Feb 5 '14 at 22:42
Unfortunately, chimera already has an established figurative meaning, “anything perceived as wildly imaginative or implausible.” It's often used like hobgoblin to mean something unnecessarily frightening. I'm afraid that this established meaning would cause confusion in your context. Chameleon is more commonly used in that sense. – Bradd Szonye Feb 6 '14 at 6:52



Could you use the analogy of a harlequin-like personality, in which the traits are patched together from a range of different fabrics to form a garment which is assumed, but is not qualitatively part of the essence of the person?

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+1 for assimilator. – bib Feb 5 '14 at 23:00

Here is an analogy from the bible:

Therefore every scribe which is instructed unto the kingdom of heaven is like unto a man that is an householder, which bringeth forth out of his treasure things new and old. (Mt 13:52)

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